I’m scared to write this piece.
I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I don’t want to make a mistake and get lambasted by the internet. I don’t want to assume things about you or black people or policemen or our government, and I don’t want to cause a problem where a mighty large problem already exists.
So I’ve stayed quiet. Because I’m scared. And because this isn’t my fight.
Or is it?
Last week, as I watched the same news on American television that you did, a sudden question dropped in my mind.
What if that was white women?
WHAT IF THAT WAS WHITE WOMEN?
It’s all I could think last week.
Forgive me for saying it, truly — forgive me — but until last week, this didn’t feel like my problem. Don’t get me wrong — I cared, I felt concerned about racial reconciliation, but I’m not black and I’m not a policeman, so it wasn’t my problem.
But I was wrong. Something shifted in me last week and God willing, I’ll never go back.
Y’all. I’m so sorry for thinking this was someone else’s issue.
It is my problem. It’s absolutely my problem.
It’s my problem because if this was me, if it was me suffering, I would want other people of different races and backgrounds and ages to stand up for me. I’d want to feel like somebody, ANYBODY, was on my team.
It’s my problem because I can be a part of the solution, if not across the nation, at least in my own town.
It’s my problem because Jesus cares deeply, and I’m convinced His heart is broken over this injustice, and if anything breaks His heart, I want it to break mine too.
It’s my problem because in some dark spots in my heart, I am the problem.
And THAT is my problem.
Rooting out the racism in me, rooting out the “we” and “them” in me, rooting out the implicit biases in my heart? Those are all my problems because I want to be a part of the solution and that starts right here.
My friend Deidra says we reconcile to God, we reconcile to others, and we reconcile to ourselves. I want to do all three of those.
I want to figure out what it looks like for my black friends to feel like I am on their team. I want to figure out what it looks like for the policemen in my community to feel like I am on their team. Since I’m in neither demographic, is there a way for me to hold hands with them both? Because I want to.
I don’t have answers, friends. I’m merely wading into these waters and inviting you to join me.
To ask Jesus to break your heart for the things that break His. To be brave enough, in your own community, to ask questions and make new friends and care for your neighbor and the police and mourn with those who mourn. To be brave enough, in your own heart, to call this your problem.
And in some small way, claiming that is already a step toward freedom and healing and love.
Guide us, O Thou Great Jehovah.